I had the honor and pleasure of being asked to speak at the Martin County, Florida Tea Party in Hobe Sound on April 15, marking a new milestone in my political activism. I’d never given a speech of this type before, designed to energize and inspire a crowd, but the good folks of the county just to the north of mine were warm, welcoming and most of all, fired up and ready for “change”.
According to TCPalm News, the event drew a crowd of more than 500, who came out to show their support for freedom, strong national defense and individual liberty. Connor Lanser, South Florida’s 14 year-old political superstar, also gave a rousing speech, along with several others.
I want to gratefully acknowledge my friend and fellow Parcbench writer Don Smith for his input and assistance, particularly in reference to the Samuel Adams quote at the end. I am hoping to find video of all the day’s speeches, but thought I’d post my full remarks in the meantime:
Thank you Shona, Cindy and Gloria for the opportunity to speak today. It’s great to be surrounded by so many patriots here in Martin County. I hope you guys don’t mind, but since I am not a professional speaker, I brought along my teleprompter (in a tribute to Sarah Palin, I held up my palm, on which I’d scrawled a few topics I’d planned to cover). Oh, and just in case that fails, I also have my back-up teleprompter (here I held up a small notebook, in which I’d scribbled the entire speech).
Side Note: thank goodness, the crowd laughed at both jokes!
You know, it has been an incredibly trying 15 months for those of us who love our freedom, and are actually paying attention to Washington D.C.’s assault on everything we hold dear. It seems everyday the radicals in charge find yet another way to attack and weaken the Judeo-Christian principles on which the greatest nation on Earth – the United States of America – was founded. For all of us who’ve been watching and fighting back, it has felt like a never-ending nightmare.
But there’s also an upside to all of this, at least for me. And that is, having the opportunity to connect with so many like-minded Americans, not just here in Florida, but all around the country.
Today, I want to single out a few of them, starting with Edward Lynch and his team. Ed is a man of integrity who would’ve made an excellent representative for the voters of Florida District 19, had they chosen to send him to D.C. To Ed, Jessica, Tim, Steve (referring to fellow PB contributor Steven Rosenblum), Ellen, Lisa and all of the Lynch for Congress volunteers, thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. We are very proud of you!
Steve Rosenblum is also my co-host on Conservative Republican Forum on Blog Talk Radio, and it has been my pleasure working with him over the past year. On both Conservative Republican Forum and my own show, The Liberty Belle Hour on WAFS-TV, I’ve had the privilege to interview people who represent the very best of America – from Florida’s grassroots candidates like Robert Lowry, Corey Poitier, Colonel Allen West, Bernard Sansaricq and Marco Rubio to Illinois’ David Ratowitz and Iowa’s Steve Rathje.
While I cannot possibly single them all out by name, I can report that with so many great patriots running, we will have much to celebrate come November, 2010. And speaking of the best of America, let’s have a round of applause for the honorable men and women of the United States Military, both veterans and those actively serving. We love you and support you!
The other silver lining in an otherwise devastating year and a half is being reminded of exactly why my grandparents immigrated LEGALLY to this great republic so many years ago. They came in search of freedom, not government handouts. They embraced the language and culture of their new homeland. They instilled a love of America in their children. They worked hard. And when a neighbor or family member fell on hard times, they believed it was their duty to help them back up on their feet – not Washington D.C.!
I am blessed to have so many shining examples of the American Dream in my family. My mom is very proud of the fact that her father, my grandfather, Raffaele Cauterucci, who came here at the age of eight with his widowed mother and two brothers not knowing the language, eventually graduated from Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia in 1919 – a time when such accomplishments were nearly unheard of for immigrants. She’s also very proud of the fact that her dad was always a staunch conservative Republican who rejected FDR’s big-government statism and ran his own corner drugstore for many years in Germantown, Philadelphia.
My dad – affectionately known as “Dr. Al” around the blogosphere – grew up the son of a humble tailor. But he had a big dream of becoming a surgeon. And in spite of his economic circumstances, he pursued that dream with passion, working several jobs to get through high school, college and medical school – always with an attitude of gratitude for the country that made it possible for an immigrant’s son. He didn’t whine about how unfair it all was; he was thankful for the opportunities afforded him as a citizen of the USA.
My parents passed along the same love of country to my four siblings and me. My mom has always been an activist, which explains why I am standing here before you today. Growing up, she’d take me along to the polls where she’d be handing out literature and persuading her fellow citizens to vote for the right people. For years, she served as a committeewoman in our township, and hosted countless gatherings at our home in support of freedom-loving candidates.
And everyone assembled here now is here because we love our freedom and are willing to fight for it. We will never submit to tyranny. We are NOT racists; we are people from all walks of life who believe in the promise of America.
So I have a message for a popular Fox News host – someone I am sure you are all familiar with – who recently stated and I quote:
“Most Americans are not ideologues. They are just folks who want a fair system and a noble country.”
Well Mr. O’Reilly, I’ve got a message for you: We ARE most Americans. And yes, we ARE ideologues. Our ideology is the United States Constitution, and our heroes are those noble men who conceived of a country that would recognize every individual’s God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! And just like our Founders, we will do everything in our power to preserve the greatest nation on Earth – the United States of America.
I’d like to end with a quote from one of my favorite ideologues, Samuel Adams:
“Let us awaken then, and evince a different spirit – a spirit that shall encourage them to persevere in this glorious struggle, until their rights and liberties shall be established on a rock. We have proclaimed to the world our determination to die free men, rather than to live as slaves. We have appealed to heaven for the justice of our cause, and in heaven we have God’s providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had our cloud by day and our pillar by night. We have been reduced to distress and the arm of Omnipotence has raised us up. Let us still rely in humble confidence in Him who is mighty to save. Good tidings will soon arrive. We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid and protection.”
In the spirit of Samuel Adams, I say, let’s not be despondent, but look to our Founding Fathers for inspiration while we continue to emulate their example. God bless all of you, and God bless the United States of America.